That's me in St John's, Newfoundland. Not a great pic, I know. I've nearly filled a digital camera with craggy beauty but forgot to bring a USB cable and can't share any of it for the time being. I took this with my laptop standing outside a café near where we're staying. It's a residential strip just on the edge of downtown. Got to love the way they paint houses here. Pink, blue, green, yellow, orange. Gray or black occasionally. Everything except beige. Joy!
Anyway, I've only been here a couple days, so maybe I'm making too much out of this, but I'm surprised by how much Regina and St John's have in common. Here's a sampling:
- Both are small cities. Regina hovering around 200,000. Metro St John's at 182,000.
- Both are provincial capitals. (And both have humorously named rivals who jealously covet that honor. The hilarious "Saskatoon" in our case. Here they have... um... "Dildo".)
- Both are purportedly experiencing periods of economic prosperity when compared to their own recent histories and to the rest of the country.
- In both I keep running into people who talk about how they're hearing there's a boom on but it's not making their lives any easier.
- Both have urban sprawl problems. (Where in Canada doesn't though?)
- Both have roads so cracked and pitted they've become a kind of comedy.
- Both are pretty isolated geographically which means their arts and culture scenes have a goodly homegrown component.
- The weather here is exactly the same unseasonably cold temperature I left behind in Saskatchewan (although here the humidity is something like 310 percent).
- Both have independent alternative news and culture papers that are put out bi-weekly. (The prairie dog's Newfoundlander doppleganger is called The Scope.)
Music discovery since arriving: local gypsy jazz guitarist Duane Andrews. Wow. Just wow.